Kaiser Center

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Kaiser Center
Alternative names Kaiser Building
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 300 Lakeside Drive
Oakland, California
Coordinates 37°48′32″N 122°15′52″W / 37.8088°N 122.2644°W / 37.8088; -122.2644Coordinates: 37°48′32″N 122°15′52″W / 37.8088°N 122.2644°W / 37.8088; -122.2644
Completed 1960
Owner The Swig Company
Roof 118.72 m (389.5 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 28
Design and construction
Architect Welton Becket
Main contractor Robert E. McKee Contractor, Inc.

Kaiser Center, also called the Kaiser Building, is a 28 story office building located at 300 Lakeside Drive, adjacent to Lake Merritt, in downtown Oakland, California, designed by the architectural firm of Welton Becket & Associates of Los Angeles. The property is bounded by Lakeside Drive, which terminates and joins Harrison Street at the site, 20th-, 21st-, and Webster-streets. When completed in 1960, it was Oakland's tallest building, as well as the largest office tower west of the Rocky Mountains.[4] A three-story office/retail building adjacent to the main tower was completed in 1963. Kaiser Center was the headquarters of Kaiser Industries, a Fortune 500 conglomerate headed by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser.

The building's roof garden was designed by San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm, Theodore Osmundson & Associates, and was the first built in the United States after World War II. After the main building’s completion, Henry J. Kaiser occupied a penthouse apartment on the 28th floor as his personal residence for several years, and reportedly commissioned the roof garden so as not to look down on a bare concrete roof.[citation needed]

The building is currently home to the headquarters of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which recently relocated from its former administration building atop the Lake Merritt station, due to earthquake concerns. Other tenants include the University of California Office of the President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, and California Bank & Trust.[5]


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